Severe weather has hit a few times already this year bringing heavy rain and high winds between bouts of freezing cold temperatures.

Flooding in some parts of Columbus and the county have occurred, and homes have been damaged by falling trees and their limbs.

Much of this could potentially have damaged a dwelling to the point of qualifying for property tax relief under a program in Franklin County.

The program offers relief on a sliding scale based on when the damage occurs. You could get 100% if the damage happens anytime from January to March, 75% from April to June, 50% from July to September, and 25% from October to December. 

All you have to do is fill out the Damaged & Destroyed Form online at the Auditor’s website. 

It can be found by clicking on the red button at the bottom of the page.

They will then need to sign it, notarize it, and submit it.

The auditor’s office will then send an appraiser to conduct an on-site assessment, which will usually happen within 30 days.

After the office receives the new appraised value, it will update the tax value and the change in what is owed would be applied to the following year’s taxes.

This tax relief program in Franklin County has been going on for a while, but only a few people use it.

“In 2018 we had 252 residents apply for consideration, and in 2019 we’re already at 36,” said Michael Stinziano the Franklin County Auditor.

While major disasters are commonly associated with this kind of program, the damage can also be from a more mundane event like the recent high winds that tore through
 town.

“We’ve seen some high incidences where we had tornados kind of pop down on the east side. That caused significant damage those owners residents; on the high winds
 it’s typically a limb or a tree coming through and causing damage to a roof,” said Stinziano.

Even heavy rain can lead to significant damage.

“The City of Columbus had a record-breaking year in terms of rain last year,” said Stinziano. “That’s going to have a flooding impact in some neighborhoods.”

This program is meant for when your property sustains significant damage from
wind, floods, tornadoes, fire or lightning; and it also applies to manufactured homes.